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Health care workers disciplined following wildcat strike in October

Last Updated Feb 23, 2021 at 7:09 pm MST

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Hundreds of health care workers are being disciplined for holding a wildcat strike last year.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) began investigating the strikes on Oct. 26, 2020, as health care workers suddenly walked off the job in protest of cuts to health care services from the UCP government.

The Alberta Relations Labour Board (ALRB), inevitably ruled the strikes illegal and ordered employees to return to work.

RELATED: Frontline hospital workers walk off the job: AUPE

In a statement, AHS said “disciplinary actions were issued as appropriate based on role and impact to patient care.”

The disciplinary action ranged from letters of warning to a few workers receiving five-day suspensions without pay.

While exact numbers were not provided by AHS, The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) said it has filed nearly 800 grievances with AHS over disciplinary measures taken against members for the strike.

The grievances relate to 771 letters of warning and 27 suspensions from work ranging from one to five days, affecting workers at sites across the province.

“AHS has created as many grievances from one day of protest as they would normally face in two years from AUPE,” said vice-president of AUPE, Bonnie Gostola.

WATCH: UCP calling wildcat strike ‘irresponsible’

The AUPE said that AHS reported eight Licensed Practical Nurses to their professional body, the College of Licensed Professional Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA).

As the ALRB is still investigating, AHS said it’s not able to share more information now to respect the grievance process between the parties and the relationship with the union.